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Naylor, LLC

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FROM THE IT FORUM

The IT Forum gives AGC members an opportunity to discuss best practices and garner feedback about products and services that increase efficiencies. The following questions and answers were taken from recent forum posts.

Q: My Verizon rep tells me I need to update my BES Server from 4.1 to the free Blackberry BES server which he tells me will hold 75 users at no charge. The reason for this is because we need to push OS updates to the Blackberry devices which they can’t take right now because of the version we are on. My experience with BES server is someone set it and forgot it and never really needed to update it. Is my rep sending me down the right path?
Jim Gaba
Sierra Nevada Construction, Inc.

A: Our BES server only had major issues on a couple of occasions, but for the most part it was hands off (aside from routine patches, etc.). You may also want to consider moving to a hosted e-mail solution. Our company did exactly that, alleviating ourselves of Exchange and BES upgrades/maintenance. The cost/benefit analysis speaks for itself.
Keith Murley
Schimenti Construction

A: We upgraded to BES Express 5 to get the HTML e-mail capabilities and the free 75 users (no need for per user CALs). I’m not sure about Verizon’s claims that this is needed for over-the-air upgrades, but it appears to be a supported feature in BES5. I’ve never used it though. The upgrade from 4 to 5 was a bit of a pain, but has been running hands off since it was installed. I like the admin interface in 5 too. The new HTML email is very popular among our users.

The biggest issue I ran into was setting up the administrator account. You can do it two different ways. Either an active directory based account or an internal BES admin account. Be sure to setup an internal/non-active directory admin user as a backup. You can always create an AD admin later. Our system hooks into our AD fine for all of the user setup and details, but only allows the AD admin to log in about half the time. I’ve never taken the time to figure out why this is.
Jeremy Hicks
Richard Goettle, Inc.

A: Can you confirm that you have to install the BES Express on the Exchange server for it to work? I got my T-Mobile rep to get me the upgrade to BES 5.0 for free, as I don’t like installing anything on the mail server that I don’t have to.
Brendan Murphy
Walsh Brothers

A: Android manager server. Needs Exchange though.
Brett Skale
Good Technology

Q: Speaking of androids, do any of you experience this issue when setup with an android to connect to Exchange: E-mails with attachments get hung forever in the outbox and do not send? Including if you take a picture and send via e-mail from the phone. In my searches online it seems we’re not the only ones having this issue and I’ve yet to find a straight answer why or what the fix is.
Ben Stromberg
Knutson Construction
 
A: I have a number of users with android phones. We do experience this issue as well. It seems to be only Exchange accounts. I have a rep from US Cellular working on this. So far I was told to update the version of android to 2.2. The update is on US Cell’s web page as Froyo 2.11. This however didn’t correct the issue. I was told to download the $15 version of Thinkfree Office. That didn’t work. I have been told downloading the $20 version of Touchdown should work. I haven’t tried Touchdown yet. I’ve seen some reviews on it that it are great. I have also seen reviews condemning it. Note you must update the android version that pertains to your phone.
Ed Weber
VJS Construction Services, Inc.

A: Froyo (2.2) does nothing to fix the issue, it’s a Google problem. I have the same problem on every Droid we have on two different carriers. Works fine if sending through the regular gmail app, just not the Exchange setup. This is a huge problem and a primary reason I haven’t begun deploying android as a viable Blackberry alternative yet. I’ve heard good reviews of the Touchdown product, but I shouldn’t have to purchase a $20 app to get basic push e-mail functionality to work. If you get anywhere with this, let me know.
Ben Stromberg
Knutson Construction

A: We have no such issues here and have migrated about 50 users from BES to android thus far (ActiveSync). I have tried Touchdown, yet the UI and their support were not ideal.
Jeff Sowell, MCSE, ITIL
Charter Construction

 

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